Saturday, August 31, 2013

Mining an Old Claim

Several years ago, I was researching a story on modern day gold prospectors. One thing I discovered was that many of them that panned for gold or used sluice boxes would investigate old claims that expired years ago that nobody renewed because they thought the claim was played out.

According to my expert, it can take years for the gold to work its way out of the mountains and down
Photo By Marcin Chady
the river, but it will usually settle in the same places. So, it made sense to work an old claim.

As a writer, sometimes it helps to work an old claim. I'm thinking about this now because I ran across a manuscript I was working on several years ago. At the time my day job got in the way of me completing it. I looked it over and it's pretty good. So, I've put it in the queue of things to edit and publish. But it started me thinking. How many articles have I written over the years that could be updated and slanted for different publications. How many blog posts do I have of value? I'm considering collecting many of them into a book of essays on writing. I wrote a daily devotion for close to 10 years. Maybe a collection of devotions would be in order.

Then I have plot outlines, story ideas, pages of research for articles, novels and stories I never got around to writing. Some of them didn't take off because they simply weren't very good ideas. Some, however, I simply got sidetracked from and didn't get back to.

What's sitting unfinished in your files? What things have you written that could be repurposed in some way. Have a backlisted book that your publisher no longer carries? Why not get the ebook rights back and upload the file to Kindle yourself. Are there blog posts that could be collected into a book?

What old claim can you reactivate? There just might be publishing gold in them thar files.


  1. I hope to re-format several projects before the end of the year, either as e-books or blog posts. Lot of work but def worth it.

  2. It must be something in the air. Yesterday I finally pulled out an old novel draft and started rereading it. There's lots wrong with it and I have some very different ideas about the setting and characters now, but my plan is to take the basic idea and draft a new version during NaNo this year because I think the concept is good for another mystery series.

  3. I'm glad to see this sparked some interest.